The earth system

The DGGV provides teaching and learning material on these web pages, which is intended for all those interested in geosciences, but above all for teachers and learners at educational institutions. The use of the videos, texts, templates and illustrations is free of charge. They can be used in lessons, for assignments, homework and for lecture purposes in presentations, provided the source is cited with the URL code. Commercial use is not permitted and a declaration of consent must be obtained from the respective author for any other use.
In this way, the DGGV aims to communicate the current state of the geosciences in a technically sound manner. We endeavour to select topics of general interest and to present them in a way that is also comprehensible to non-specialists.


Do you have any questions about System Earth or teaching materials? We are happy to help and advise you.

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Earth system topics

1. Solid Earth

Today’s Earth consists of various spheres that formed over 4.5 billion years from the originally homogeneous planet. The geodynamic processes that essentially take place in the outer solid shell, the lithosphere, are explained in this main chapter.

The first 14 introductory chapters are available, more will follow.

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2. hydrosphere

The hydrosphere includes all oceans, rivers and lakes, the groundwater contained in the soil, pore water and crystal water contained in crystals. It also includes all glaciers, firn fields and snow cover, which are also summarised as the cryosphere.

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3. biosphere

The living world on Earth is summarised as the biosphere. Most of it is found directly on the earth’s surface, in the air above and in crevices and cavities in the ground below. Microorganisms can still exist in the lithosphere at depths of several kilometres in the pore spaces of rocks.

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4. atmosphere

The outermost shell of the Earth is the atmosphere.


Deutsche Geologische Gesellschaft – Geologische Vereinigung e. V. (DGGV)

Geschäftsstelle Berlin
Rhinstraße 84
12681 Berlin


Frau Lara Müller-Ruhe
Tel. 030-509 640 48